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Overview

Brief Summary

Water fleas live in stationary freshwater regions. They have a strong sense of smell via their special antennae. For example, they can even smell where their enemies are hiding. They are born with two eyes which later fuse together into one eye. Water fleas are eaten by many animals, such as fish and aquatic insects. Because there are so many of them, they form an important source of food. Water fleas are not found in the sea. Other small crustaceans serve as an important source of food there, such as the copepod.
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Ecology

Associations

Known predators

Cladocera (cladocerans (unspec.)) is prey of:
Cichlidae
Barbus innocens
Serranochromis robustus
Cyclopoida
Plectoptera
Odonata
Hemiptera
Cambarus bartonii
Cyprinodontidae
Utricularia
Coleoptera
Chaoborus
Nematocera imagines
Chloroperla
Hydropsyche
zooplankton
Actinopterygii
Barbus paludinosus
Catostomus commersoni

Based on studies in:
Malawi (River)
Africa, Crocodile Creek, Lake Nyasa (Lake or pond)
USA: Florida, South Florida (Swamp)
Russia (Agricultural)
Uganda, Lake George (Lake or pond)
Wales, River Rheidol (River)
Canada: Ontario (River)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • D. J. W. Moriarty, J. P. E. C. Darlington, I. G. Dunn, C. M. Moriarty and M. P. Tevlin, Feeding and grazing in Lake George, Uganda, Proc. Roy. Soc. B. 184:299-319 (1973).
  • G. Fryer, 1957. The trophic interrelationships and ecology of some littoral communities of Lake Nyasa with special reference to the fishes, and a discussion of the evolution of a group of rock-frequenting Cichlidae. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 132:153-281, f
  • G. Fryer, The trophic interrelationships and ecology of some littoral communities of Lake Nyasa, Proc. London Zool. Soc. 132:153-229, from p. 219 (1959).
  • J. R. E. Jones, A further ecological study of the river Rheidol: the food of the common insects of the main-stream, J. Anim. Ecol. 19:159-174, from p. 172 (1950).
  • L. D. Harris and G. B. Bowman, Vertebrate predator subsystem. In: Grasslands, Systems Analysis and Man, A. I. Breymeyer and G. M. Van Dyne, Eds. (International Biological Programme Series, no. 19, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, England, 1980), pp. 591-
  • N. N. Smirnov, Food cycles in sphagnous bogs, Hydrobiologia 17:175-182, from p. 179 (1961).
  • W. E. Ricker, 1934. An ecological classification of certain Ontario streams. Univ. Toronto Studies, Biol. Serv. 37, Publ. Ontario Fish. Res. Lab. 49:7-114, from pp. 105-106.
  • Y. I. Sorokin, Biological productivity of the Rybinsk reservoir. In: Productivity Problems of Freshwaters, Z. Kajak and A. Hillbricht-Ilkowska, Eds. (Polish Scientific, Warsaw, 1972), pp. 493-503, from p. 497.
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Known prey organisms

Cladocera (cladocerans (unspec.)) preys on:
algae
detritus
periphyton
phytoplankton
green algae
Bacillariophyceae
bacterioplankton

Based on studies in:
Malawi (River)
Russia (Agricultural)
Africa, Crocodile Creek, Lake Nyasa (Lake or pond)
USA: Florida, South Florida (Swamp)
Wales, River Rheidol (River)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • G. Fryer, 1957. The trophic interrelationships and ecology of some littoral communities of Lake Nyasa with special reference to the fishes, and a discussion of the evolution of a group of rock-frequenting Cichlidae. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 132:153-281, f
  • G. Fryer, The trophic interrelationships and ecology of some littoral communities of Lake Nyasa, Proc. London Zool. Soc. 132:153-229, from p. 219 (1959).
  • J. R. E. Jones, A further ecological study of the river Rheidol: the food of the common insects of the main-stream, J. Anim. Ecol. 19:159-174, from p. 172 (1950).
  • L. D. Harris and G. B. Bowman, Vertebrate predator subsystem. In: Grasslands, Systems Analysis and Man, A. I. Breymeyer and G. M. Van Dyne, Eds. (International Biological Programme Series, no. 19, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, England, 1980), pp. 591-
  • N. N. Smirnov, Food cycles in sphagnous bogs, Hydrobiologia 17:175-182, from p. 179 (1961).
  • Y. I. Sorokin, Biological productivity of the Rybinsk reservoir. In: Productivity Problems of Freshwaters, Z. Kajak and A. Hillbricht-Ilkowska, Eds. (Polish Scientific, Warsaw, 1972), pp. 493-503, from p. 497.
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